Sleepless nights as police leave Hampstead Police Station alarm blaring for 48 hours

08:00 31 January 2014

Residents of Downshire Hill in Hampstead were driven mad by the alarm at the former Hampstead Police Station, which was left ringing for 48 hours. Pictured (from left) Nebile Cakir, Christine Liese and Shana Ting Lipton. Picture: Polly Hancock

Residents of Downshire Hill in Hampstead were driven mad by the alarm at the former Hampstead Police Station, which was left ringing for 48 hours. Pictured (from left) Nebile Cakir, Christine Liese and Shana Ting Lipton. Picture: Polly Hancock

Polly Hancock

A police station closed by the Mayor of London has been causing sleepless nights for neighbours – after its blaring alarm was left ringing for 48 hours with officers unable to turn it off.

Frustrated residents living near the former Hampstead Police Station were kept awake all weekend by its shrieking security system.

Police were inundated with complaints but officers seemed unable to do anything about the noise, as confusion reigned over who could shut it off.

Residents were told the matter was being looked into at a “high level” – while one was transferred to the Met’s lost property department by a hapless phone operator.

Christine Liese, 55, of Downshire Hill, said: “It was horrible – literally 48 hours with no sleep.

“The whole neighbourhood was trying to go through various channels to stop it, but they were either not responding or did not know what to do. It was rather hopeless.

“When I spoke to someone at the Met, they did not even know they had a property services department and put me through to lost property.”

The alarm started on Saturday morning and only stopped ringing on Monday lunchtime.

Ms Liese added: “They sent a car which accessed the building [on Saturday], saw nothing wrong and left, because they did not have the combination.”

Shana Ting Lipton, 41, a journalist of Downshire Hill, said: “The left hand didn’t seem to know what the right hand was doing, in terms of who was responsible and who had the key.”

She spoke to a police officer outside who told her: “I don’t know what to do, I can’t get in there.”

Speaking on Monday with the alarm still blaring, retired solicitor Teddy Bourne, 65, another Downshire Hill resident, said: “I have just spoken to the police who say there have been a number of complaints and it’s being ‘looked into at a senior level’.

“Obviously, so far it has proved too difficult to get someone there to turn it off.”

The episode added insult to injury for those who were incensed by the station’s closure in June.

With police seemingly powerless to turn off the alarm, residents said it was the Met’s estate agent, Knight Frank, who finally managed to deactivate the alarm.

Knight Frank is handling the sale of the Grade II-listed building, currently under offer.

A police spokesman said: “The siren was the building’s fire alarm, which seemed to have activated through a fault. The alarm has been silenced and the fault has been resolved.”

Latest News Stories

Keir Starmer arrives with his wife Victoria at the election count. Picture: Polly Hancock

It’s been six months since Sir Keir Starmer won the safe Labour seat of Holborn and St Pancras by a huge majority.

Expedition 45 Commander SCOTT KELLY took this selfie photograph during a 7-hour and 16-minute spacewalk. This was the first spacewalk for both Kelly and Flight Engineer Kjell Lindgren; the two will venture outside the International Space Station for the second time on next Friday. Kelly becomes the U.S. astronaut who has lived in space the longest during a single U.S. spaceflight, and on Monday, Nov. 2, the crew celebrates the 15th year of a continuous human presence in space aboard the station. (Credit Image: © NASA/ZUMA Wire)

Young gardeners are preparing for a close encounter of the herbaceous kind when they attempt to grow seeds from outer space.

Yesterday, 17:00
Volunteers plant a new herbaceous border to mark Waterlow Park's 125th anniversary. Picture: Polly Hancock

Volunteers armed with gardening forks and spades replanted a herbaceous border to mark a Highgate park’s 125th anniversary.

Yesterday, 11:00
Bridget Cherry pictured at Hornsey Tower

Bridget Cherry's book, Ivy-Mantled Tower A History of the Church and Churchyard of St Mary Hornsey has been published by The Hornsey Historical Soc. Picture: Nigel Sutton

In telling the story of a long-vanished parish church, architectural historian Bridget Cherry has delved into the heart of what was once Hornsey village.

Yesterday, 10:00
Paul Young, 18, who won the Personal Journey award and was named Inspirational Young Person of the Year at the Camden Youth Awards. Picture: Dieter Perry

Paul Young struggled to cope after suffering mental health problems, being bullied at school, and having to care for his unwell mother.

Fri, 17:29
Crouch End Festival Chorus at St John's Smith Square. Photo: Emily Soppet

The Crouch End Festival Chorus is taking a deep breath and running a 12-hour sponsored singing marathon this Saturday to raise funds for a major recording project.

Fri, 16:48
Flowers on Parkland Walk

Police are investigating after live ammunition was discovered in Parkland Walk.

Squatters at West End Lane

Squatters are currently believed to have barricaded themselves into a former council building in West Hampstead after an eviction order was served.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot


MAC Makeup

MAC are renowned for their flawless, fabulous make up that is used worldwide by the stars. You too can have the chance to have the perfect makeup to suit your needs with £1,000 to spend on all the glam goodies you like!


You are never far from an Argos, wherever in the country you may be. They are like a magical cavern where whatever you need they seem to have it out the back behind the counter. So why not put them to the test with this great MyOffers competition to win £1000 to spend in-store.

Digital Edition

Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24

Local business directory

Our trusted business finder